Episode 41: “Panic in a Typhoon!”
Original airdate: September 1, 1982
Corresponding manga chapter: “Fun With Hurricanes”, volume 8, chapter 8 (Viz release)/volume 10, chapter 7 (Japanese tankobon release)/overall chapter 98
Summary: Out in the vacant lot, Cherry is cooking something amid high winds. Taking it toward his tent, he’s struck by lightning and his clothes blow away, for all those who wanted this anime to have more underwear shots.
In Ataru’s room, Lum shows Ten the snacks she’s procured for the upcoming typhoon, and they dance around in excited anticipation. Ataru comes in, wearing a transparent poncho, and asks what they’re doing. When they say that they’ve never been through a typhoon before, he hands them a pile of boards and tells them to pitch in. Outside, Lum and Ten are nailing boards over second-story windows (how good is Ten really going to be at hammering?) while Ataru shouts directions from below. The boards Lum nailed up blow away and hit Ataru, and he sends them up to restore them, saying that the typhoon won’t come if they don’t pitch in. When they’re done, Mrs. Moroboshi comes out to see their work, and to completely ignore Ataru’s repeated demands for his allowance, as does Mr. Moroboshi when he comes home from work. Indoors, Ataru finishes nailing boards over the front door.
Back in Ataru’s room, the roof is leaking into a vast array of vessels, and Lum and Ten are dancing about in joy. Ataru grumbles about the leaks and suggests Lum use her alien super-science to do something about them. She reaches into her bra and pulls out something useful.
She drops it into a cup to train it to control rainwater (although Ataru can’t get it out of his head that it makes cup ramen). Lum activates it, and the drops of water start suspending in the air rather than landing. The lights go out, and after some fumbling and Ataru breaking his flashlight on Ten’s head, Lum lights some candles and the atmosphere gets all romantic.
Ataru kind of ruins things by asking for more chocolate. He wants to go to bed early and she wants to play, and no one suggests the obvious compromise…
Outside, Cherry’s tent is filling up rapidly, and he’s chanting for all he’s worth to drive away the rain while keeping himself and the cat there. He assures the cat that the tent wouldn’t be washed away, and he’s right; it gets blown away instead.
At 2 AM, Ataru wakes up to discover his room full of water, suspended above him down to a height of about two feet off the ground, with Lum and Ten frolicking in it like porpoises. Ataru can’t even and announces he’s going back to sleep, and Lum unwisely turns off the G-Con, producing a massive torrent that washes Ataru down the stairs and fills his parents’ bedroom. Mr. Moroboshi struggles awake, while Mrs. Moroboshi needs her rest and remains underwater, using a vacuum cleaner attachment as a snorkel. Mr. Moroboshi decides that they need to let the water out and pries the boards off the front door, only to have even more pour in and wash him away. Lum manages to get the door closed, and Mr. Moroboshi nails it shut again while kneeling on Ataru’s shoulders (and giving us an upskirt view of his robe–this episode is just full of fanservice for a few people with very weird, specific tastes).
Mrs. Moroboshi stomps out and demands to know what the noise is at this hour of the morning. No one gets a chance to answer because what appears to be Cherry’s corpse bobs to the surface, the cat riding on his back.
He turns out to be very much alive, which Ataru attempts to correct with a good pummeling. Cherry warns him that the Buddha’s retribution could cause problems like, say, someone’s house leaking even more. This promptly happens, and Lum turns the G-Con on again to deal with the extra water. The results are not all one could hope, as everyone is now trapped between two walls of water in an air pocket a few feet high.
Ataru demands that Lum turn the G-Con back on. She pulls it out, but Cherry smacks it out of her hand, explaining afterwards that he’d assumed it was a poison capsule and the situation just wasn’t that dire yet. Lum dives to find it and locates it in the kitchen, where it’s somehow become trapped under the edge of a table (?). She tries to pull it out, but starts a chain reaction that winds up with her trapped under a wall panel and a pile of junk. Back in the air pocket, Ataru decides she’s been gone too long and dives to find her. His attempts to pull her out and lift the screen come to nothing, though he manages to get her more air by trapping it under a dish. He tries valiantly to free her but fails, refusing to give up and ultimately passing out. Lum promptly blasts the debris off her with a lightning burst and returns Ataru to the air pocket, making it clear that she stayed there deliberately to get Ataru to come after her.
Lum produces the G-Con yet again, but this time the cat grabs it and refuses to let it go despite a good shaking by Ataru. Mr. and Mrs. Moroboshi notice that the water around them is both rising and sinking, and begin wildly bailing, each in a different direction. They eventually reach what appears to be a shared conclusion, and Mr. Moroboshi swims down to the living room closet. Mrs. Moroboshi isn’t thrilled to be left behind with no one but Ataru, and loses it altogether when he returns with an oar and sits on the stairs, rowing and singing a folk song. Ataru declares that they should escape from the 2nd floor window, and Mrs. Moroboshi demonstrates how far she’s been driven by saying this:
They swim upwards, and Ataru tries to pry a window open until Lum points out that they’ve been nailed shut from the outside. Cherry announces that they can either save their lives or the house, and Mrs. Moroboshi demands they live so the mortgage can be paid. Everyone grabs blunt implements and starts smashing away, but they aren’t making any progress. A sound of tapping comes from above, and they conclude that it’s the rescue team on the roof. Mr. Moroboshi redoubles his efforts, and Lum and Ten unleash the lightning and fire. They finally make it through, only to discover that it’s a sunny day and the tapping noise is a crow.
One of the neighbors calls out to Mr. Moroboshi, asking what he’s doing on the roof, and he casually thumps the bat into the roof. The walls buckle and give way and the water cascades out, washing the neighbors away and leaving just the frame of the house behind. Mr. Moroboshi snaps, wailing that he’s the Loan Ranger.
Changes from the manga version: Cherry and the cat aren’t present. The sequences with the candles and Lum diving to get the G-Con are new to the anime, but everything else follows closely. (The sequence where they wind up stuck between the two layers of water takes an hour to reach that point rather than being instantaneous, which makes more sense.)
Thoughts: Very much a bottle episode, with a mix of an inciting gimmick, character-based material, and some added sentiment for padding. (The sentimental sequences aren’t bad, but they are pretty obvious filler.) As a result, there’s not a lot to say about this one, since it’s not breaking much in the way of new ground. I did enjoy the new jokes in this one, such as Mrs. Moroboshi’s sleep-snorkeling. (She’s an under-rated character; she doesn’t really instigate plots, but the way she knows her own mind can lead in unexpected directions.)
Next episode: Lum and Ten get drunk from pickled plums!